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Professor Chris Taylor

Professor Chris Taylor

Academic Director, SPARK

School of Social Sciences

+44 29208 76938
+44 (0)29 208 74678
Media commentator


Chris is Professor of Social Sciences at Cardiff University and is the Academic Director of the Cardiff University Social Science Research Park (SPARK). Prior to this he was a Co-Director of the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD).

Chris has published extensively on a wide range of educational and social issues and has undertaken research across all education sectors, from early years to higher education. This has included government-funded evaluations of the Foundation Phase for all 3-7 year olds in Wales, the Pupil Development Grant and the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification, an ESRC Fellowship studying the geography of growing up in the UK and an ESRC Large Grant on the political economy of school exclusions across the UK. He recently established the WISERD Education Data Lab, utilising education administrative data to support education priorities in Wales and helps convene the annual WISERDEducation Multi-Cohort Study (WMCS). He is also part of the PISA 2021 team for England and Wales, working with the University of Oxford and Pearson. Chris is also a member of the ESRC Large Centre on Civil Society in WISERD, leading on a number of work packages on civil society including the impact of graduates on civil society, the intergenerational transmission of civic attitudes and engagement, the role of grandparents in children’s formative years and the opportunities and barriers to children’s participation in civil society.

Chris was formerly the editor of Teaching and Teacher Education and the British Educational Research Journal and is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Education Policy, the British Journal of Sociology of Education and the British Journal of Educational Studies. He is a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) Student Opportunities and Achievement Committee and is the independent chair of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL, Strategic Advisory Board.


Education and qualifications

  • 2000: PhD (Human Geography), University of Leicester, UK
  • 1995: BA Geography (First), University of Leicester, UK

Career overview

  • 2000 - present: Cardiff University, School of Social Sciences
  • 1995 - 1999: University of Leicester, Geography Department

Honours and awards

  • 2018: Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales
  • 2017: Awarded the Hugh Owen Medal by the Learned Society of Wales in recognition of significant contributions to educational research
  • 2017: Research Impact Award at the Wales Social Research Awards in recognition of the impact of the Foundation Phase three-year evaluation

Professional memberships

  • Society for Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies
  • Society for Educational Studies
  • Former member of the British Educational Research Association
  • Former member of the American Educational Research Association

Academic positions

  • 2019 – present: Academic Director, Cardiff University Social Science Research Park
  • 2013 - 2019: Cardiff Co-Director of the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods, Cardiff University
  • 2012 - present: Professor of Education, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2011 - present: Visiting Research Associate at the Institute of Education, University College London (UCL)
  • 2009 - 2012: Reader in Education, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2006 - 2009: Senior Lecturer in Education, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2003 - 2006: Lecturer in Education, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 2000 - 2003: Research Associate, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
  • 1997 - 1999: Lecturer in Human Geography, Department of Geography, University of Leicester

Committees and reviewing

  • 2019 - present: Member of the AHRC/ESRC/MRC Research and Stakeholder Advisory Board for Adolescence, Mental Health and the Developing Mind
  • 2015 - present: Member of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) Student Opportunity and Achievement Committee (SOAC)
  • 2015 - present: Chair of the ESRC Centre for Longitudinal Studies’ Strategic Advisory Group
  • 2016 - 2019: Chair of the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) Education Group
  • 2015 - 2019: Member of the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) Age 17 Scientific Advisory Group
  • 2010 - 2016: Member of the ESRC Capabilities Committee (formerly the Training and Skills Committee)
  • 2015 - 2016: Member of the ESRC Infrastructure Working Group
  • 2015 - 2016: Member of the Welsh Government Digital Competence Framework Quality Assurance Group


We are currently unable to retrieve the list of publications. Visit our institutional repository.



I do not currently convene any undergraduate modules but I have taught on all of the following modules:

  • Dissertation (Year 3 module)
  • Conflict and Change in Education Policy (Year 3 module)
  • Education in Practice (Year 2 module)
  • Education and Society (Year 1 module)


I do not currently convene any postgraduate modules but I have taught on all of the following modules:

  • Research Methods (Masters and Professional Doctorate modules)
  • Research and Evidence-Based Policy and Practice (Professional Doctorate module)
  • Social Context of Education (Professional Doctorate module)
  • Strategies of Applied Research (Masters module in MSc Social Science Research Methods (ESRC 1+3))

Chris has supervised many Masters and PhD students and on a wide range of research topics including: school truancy, school vouchers, higher education participation, paid employment among undergraduates, the emotional geographies of museums (with the National Museum of Wales, intergenerational justice, wellbeing in the Foundation Phase (with the Welsh Government), schools and volunteering, citizenship education in Malaysia (with the Malaysian Government), the effectiveness of early family interventions (with Home-Start UK) and children's and young people's subjective wellbeing.

Chris is particularly keen to develop collaborative studentships with non-academic external partners.

Research interests

  • The geography of education
  • Education and neighbourhoods
  • School choice and diversity
  • Social justice and education policy
  • Participation in Higher and Further Education
  • Evaluation of education policy
  • Inter-disciplinary research methods
  • Combining qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Research capacity building

Recent funded research

  • Analysis of Destinations and Retention of Year 12 Students in Sixth Form Schools, funded by the Welsh Government (with R Davies), £25k
  • Part-time Higher Education Research Provision (Stage One) for the Diamond Review, funded by the Welsh Government (with Prof G Rees), £25k
  • Analysis of responses to the ‘call for evidence’ undertaken as part of the Professor Donaldson’s independent review of the national curriculum and assessment, funded by the Welsh Government (with Prof S Power), £15k
  • WISERD/Civil Society ESRC Large Centre, (with Prof I Jones, Cardiff University et al), £7M
  • Evaluation of Foundation Phase Flexibility Pilots, funded by the Welsh Government (with Dr M Rhys and Dr S Waldron), £119k
  • Centre for Administrative Data Research and Evaluation (CADRE) - an ESRC Administrative Data Research Centre (with Prof D Ford, Swansea University, et al), £10M
  • School Health Action Research Partnership and Network (SHARPEN), funded by the MRC (with Prof L Moore et al), £400k
  • Evaluation of the Pupil Deprivation Grant, funded by the Welsh Government (with Ipsos-MORI), £119k (Extension awarded for 2015/16 £121k)
  • Impact and Effectiveness of Widening Access to HE in Wales, funded by the ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative and HEFCW (with Prof G Rees), £288k (ESRC: £187k; HEFCW: £101k)
  • WISERDEDUCATION, funded by HEFCW (with Prof S Power), £930k
  • Research Project to examine the relationships between the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and Higher Education, funded by the Welsh Government, £25k
  • Growing up in 21st Century Britain: spatial analysis of the Millennium Cohort Study (Mid-Career Fellowship), funded by the ESRC, £136k
  • Evaluating the Foundation Phase – tender to evaluate the Foundation Phase in Wales, funded by the Welsh Government (with Prof T Maynard, Canterbury Christchurch University, and WISERD), £990k
  • Analysis of university progress for students with the Welsh Baccalaureate and from low participation neighbourhoods, funded by Cardiff University (with Prof G Rees and WISERD), £9k
  • REAL-net, funded by the European Commission (with Prof S Power),  €235k per annum
  • A Social and Professional Network for Early Career Researchers in Education, funded by the ESRC (with Dr P Carmichael, University of Cambridge), £79k
  • Welsh Institute of Social and Economic Data, Research and Methods (WISERD), funded by the ESRC and the Welsh Assembly Government (with Prof H Beynon et al), £4.8M
  • LINK-Wales: The Learning in Wales Network, funded by ESRC/HEFCW Wales Education Research Network (WERN) (with Prof S Power and Mr G Thomas, University of Wales, Aberystwyth), £39k
  • NCRM Networks for Methodological Innovation: Measuring segregation: methods, tools and data, funded by ESRC National Centre for Research Methods (with Dr R Harris, University of Bristol), £6.5k
  • Assessment of Capacity and Viability of Local Authority Outdoor Education Centres, funded by the Department of Children, Schools and Families (with CRG Research Ltd, Prof S Power and Prof G Rees), £62k
  • Education in the Rural Community, bursary award funded by the ESRC/HEFCW Wales Education Research Network (WERN) (with University of Wales, Aberystwyth), £12k
  • Formative Evaluation of the Applied Educational Research Scheme (AERS), funded by the Scottish Executive (with Prof S Power, Prof G Rees), £30k
  • Research Development Initiative (Round 2): BERA/ESRC 2007 Residential Summer School, funded by the ESRC, £12k
  • Scoping Study to Identify Quantitative Methods Capacity Building Needs in Wales, funded by the ESRC and HEFCW (with Prof L Moore, Prof K Whitfield, Prof G Maio, Dr A Robinson), £30k

Research project links